Grand Forks ND – Tonight felt a reunion; twin sisters Jocelyn and Monique Lamoureux played their collegiate hockey at Ralph Engelstad Arena, which sits on the campus of the University of North Dakota.
Actually, it was like they never left.
Before the game, there was a presentation on the big screen honoring the twins and the time they spent at UND. It’s been an emotional week for the Lamoureux’s. Their brother Jacques Lamoureux is in the U.S. Air Force, and he’d just returned from Kuwait.
“Especially to have Jacques home, he just got home from Kuwait, that was really special,” Jocelyne Lamoureux said. “We’re a really close family. So, having him for that – my grandma and my parents – it was pretty cool. This place is home for Monique and I, this community means a lot to us. To share this with our family, was nice.”
Tonight, 5,559 fans came to watch the USA and Canada play in a pre-Olympic match-up. The environment in the arena was awesome, it was electric, at times the noise level was almost deafening. The Lamoureux twins and team USA beat the Canadians 4-1, sending many of the hometown fans home smiling.
“I was shocked by how loud the building was, really,” U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Katey Stone said. “At one point it was going through me. I kept feeling like the thunder was going through me, too. What an environment for these kids to play in, leading up to Sochi.”
The teams traded goals in the first period, before team USA blew open the game in the second period scoring three goals. Team USA’s fore-check was relentless and Canada had no answer for it.
Pacing team USA, was the third line of Monique Lamoureux (1g-1a—2pts), Megan Duggan (0g-2a—2pts) and Jocelyne Lamoureux (1g-1a—2pts). That line was nothing short of amazing racking up a combined six points. The twins would also finish the game with the Gordy Howe hat-trick.
USA Team captain Megan Duggan was asked what it was like to be paired with the Lamoureux twins.
“They’re dynamic players,” Duggan said. “They make things happen. They’re smart with the puck, and I enjoy it.”
Five players from each team would be assessed five-minute majors for fighting, after a scrum broke out in front of the American net with nine seconds remaining in the game. Team USA’s head coach didn’t seem all that thrilled with the Canadian’s tactics at the end of the game.
“I am not a proponent of fighting in hockey,” Katey Stone said. “I am proponent of standing up for yourself. If players are going to take cheap shots at our players, there’s going to be answer for that. We will not get pushed around. At the end of the day, we’ll prepare to play any game that we have to play. We’ll go hard, we’ll go clean, if the game gets out of hand, we’ll manage that as well.”
This is what some of the players had to say about the scrum at the end of the game.
“That player (Brianne Jenner) that hit (Josephine) Pucci took her out for a season, two seasons ago,” Monique Lamoureux said. “She took a head shot at her, so were going to stick up for our teammates and were going to protect them. I think Jocelyn obviously body-checked her, but I think it was clean. If you’re going to take a head shot at one of our players there’s consequences for it. Look what happened to me in Burlington (Vermont).”
“You have to protect your own players and you have to protect your own house,” USA forward Brianna Decker said.
Team USA and Canada will play again in St. Paul, Minnesota on December 28, 2013 at the Xcel Energy Center.
Stats of note
USA has now won the last two games in the series, after losing three in a row.
USA outshot team Canada 31-18
Both teams were 0-3 on the power play.